Roz Grashaw's Letter to her Parents

In 1954, Roz wrote the following letter to her parents to allay their concerns about her safety as a flight crewmember.

I love flying. Everything about it. The freedom, the vastness, the excitement, glamour and beauty that cannot possibly be surpassed. I live for it now and as soon as those wheels leave the ground, I'm home.

If you could see the breathtaking beauty of the night or sunset or a storm or the shimmering steel gray of a wing and a prop, strong and beautiful, without knowing that something or someone greater than all of us, must have made all of this possible. It couldn't just happen. It is all too perfect for reconstruction and anything scientific can be duplicated by man. This cannot.

Do you understand what I mean? I've stood in the cockpit, next to my captain and co-pilots and watched the work of man in God's surroundings and believe me it's something to see and you can tell that these men feel the same way. They respect that bulk of steel and what it represents but at the same time they feel free and powerful with their ability, knowledge and privilege to be where they are. I know that they must feel a closeness to something that cannot be touched by hand, but rather, by heart.

The sight and inside reaction, when the earth comes closer, expands and glows with millions of colored lights, the fading of the stars and clouds around you and the long, clean, sharp runway, cutting an open path for you amid so much gay clutter - is enough to catch your breadth and make your heart race to keep you from choking, crying and being overwhelmed with both nostalgia and joy - all at the same time.

All of this is mine to have, Dad, every time I put that uniform on and please believe me, without it now, I would have nothing to hope for, but if I ever lose it, I'll be much richer for what it will leave me.

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